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Inconsequentials & Trivialities » Contemporary

Requiem

This morning, when I checked Facebook, I saw that there was an event to which I had been invited that would be taking place this very morning. It had been organized to protest possible cuts to the Arts Program(s) at MJC.

Here is the message that accompanied the event invite:

Funeral for the Arts
Time: Tuesday, February 22 · 9:00am – 9:30am
Location: MJC Morris Building

We are having a sit-in, of sorts, at the Morris Building (across the quad from the Student Center). The second floor has President Lowenstein’s office, so that is where we make our stand. We plan to make a mock funeral, mourning the loss of the Arts at MJC, as if they are already gone. We plan to have a few speakers to even read eulogies.

…Here is the general game plan:

We wait until 9 o’clock and then go straight to the Morris building, in a “flash mob” sort of style. We will one-by-one give our printed emails to the President or his secretary (hell, leave them at the door if we must) until all of us have given them our copies.

Afterwards, we sit in the courtyard, the balconies, the hallways, however we can, to fit however many people we have. From there our speakers will give their regards to the arts. Once done, we disperse.

This should be a very brief movement (half an hour?), but it will definitely make our message clear.

Here are the guidelines to follow (no exceptions):

* This is a silent protest. We do not speak (save the speakers). We walk in, deliver our notes, and mourn. If confronted by Lowenstein, security, or faculty, we do not speak.

*We do not carry signs or wear anything with a message. Our silence will do all the talking.

*Media will most likely be present. Please conduct yourselves appropriately. We wish to show that we are professionals and that cutting the funding to the Arts destroys our chances of continuing our professions. Keep in mind, that you will be on regional news (KCRA, Good Day Sacramento, etc.). We will be seen by LOTS of people.

* The last note still in mind, do not deal with any reporters. We have people appointed to speak to them and deal with them. Focus on the protest and don’t let them interfere.

* To better our chances of not being removed by security, while we may be taking up a lot of space, we do NOT obstruct people. Anyone leaving or entering the building may do so and you MUST let them. Even if Lowenstein chooses to walk on out, we let him.

*If security does remove us, we go out to the Quad and continue with our eulogies. We do not resist or put up a fight. STAY SILENT and respectful.

* Also, we plan to move in quickly and leave quickly. Do not show up early, do not loiter around. Get in, do our thing, get out.

And lastly what to wear/bring:

* If you have formal attire (black funeral attire; keep the blue prom tux at home), wear it. Ladies (and gentlemen), dress modestly. Pretend this is one of your grandparents funerals.

*If you do not have such attire, wear black. All black. T-shirts (with no logos) and dark jeans will suffice if that is your absolute best.

*No signs or writing on shirts. We are not picketing at the Capital (yet). So save your catchy slogans for another time.

*Please, PLEASE bring a printed copy of your email. We will give these to Lowenstein. If, you have not written one, do so now. If you have one and don’t bring it… you’re useless.

*If you so choose, you may bring flowers to accompany your email. Give your regards.

*If you have any questions please message me and I will respond as soon as possible.

 

How exciting! In my building even!

So I wasn’t sure if many, if any, students would carry through with this plan, but I was hopeful. As it turned out, there were a few dozen students there, mostly dressed in black, wearing red gags (not sure what the meaning of that was). Security was on hand and Dr. Lowenstein met the protestors on the ground floor. He accepted their papers, spoke to them about where we are in terms of the budget, thanked them for their commitment to the arts, and invited them to come talk with him further.

The students moved into the center courtyard and a couple of them spoke to the assemblage.

Not sure what they accomplished, but I love that they were organized and respectful. I think they were somewhat misguided and narrow-minded in their message but I love that they are trying to do something. Now if we could harness and channel their passion, we’d be in pretty good shape!